Ayahuasca, an entheogenic rainforest medicine and powerful agent of conscious awakening, has for perhaps thousands of years, been a tool for guidance, connection and spiritual renewal for many indigenous peoples of South America. In the territories of the Amazon rainforest, from Brazil to Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, Ayahuasca has been used for centuries if not millennia. Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis Caapi) is the name of the vine, one of the two plants used in preparation of Ayahuasca tea. The other most common plant being Chacruna (Psychotria Viridis). Together these two main ingredients create one of the most powerful and magical concoctions on the planet today with a purpose of receiving the healing, insights, guidance and transformation.
The indigenous people of the local tribes have been exploring and studying medicinal and teacher plants throughout the jungle since the beginning of time. Out of over 40,000 different plant species and a infinite number of possible combinations, the most respected teacher plant for them was and still is the Ayahuasca brew.
Ayahuasca brings us to a state of altered, amplified consciousness that is experienced after drinking the Ayahuasca brew. The process with Ayahuasca principally is that of a physical cleansing or detox and of a psycho-emotional release. The physical cleansing is often accompanied by nausea and eventually other emetic effects or purging: throwing-up, diarrhea, sweating, shaking, etc.
On a psychological level, the Ayahuasca brew amplifies all feelings and perceptions making the experience of thinking, self-reflection, reaction and belief more vivid and intense. Not only does the inner experience of one’s mind gets amplified, the part of us that is conscious and aware becomes able to draw clearer connections between the thoughts, emotions and behaviors. This results in an experience of seeing a higher perspective on our life, our relationships, our difficulties or so called “problems,” leading to insights about oneself and deeper comprehension of one’s reality. Essentially in the Ayahuasca experience not only is our inner world is lit up and illuminated, but the capacity of consciousness is also amplified and expanded.
The visions associated with the Ayahuasca experience, whether chaotic, confused, or vivid and intense, serve to show us the totality of our life: the ins and outs of the conscious and subconscious mind, our emotional reactions and behaviors and how they affect our relationships.
On the other hand, the visions often are just another factor of cleansing, allowing us to process visual imprints – the impact from the mass media, TV, Internet, and other psychosomatic and emotional blockages. In respect to a person’s spiritual aspirations, the Ayahuasca experience occupies a role of a spontaneous teaching. Without claims of a particular phenomenological status of what is the source of these teachings, an Ayahuasca practitioner can have very profound insights, revelations and even sense of being guided. Based on this, the Ayahuasca experience deserves to be approached with the utmost respect, so that one’s attitude or the intention is that of going to meet a spiritual master or teacher.
“Spiritual realization is the core element in the Ayahuasca experience. Ayahuasca is a medicine. Holistic purification and cleansing of body, mind, and spirit in shamanic ceremony with Ayahuasca can initiate a lifelong process of rebirth and transformation. To be successful, this process requires long-term personal commitment, integrity, compassion, and courage. It is not an easy path, but it can be highly beneficial for those who undertake it with sincerity, determination, and an open heart.” ~ Otorongo Blanco, 1996